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Good Kings, Bad Kings – and excellent cast of characters in an engaging novel.

Good Kings, Bad Kings by Susan Nussbaum (DB77648) is the Consumer Health Coalition Bookclub pick for May of 2019.  This is a book written for young adults, but is a very engrossing read about invisible kids who have been shut away.   

Most of the book takes place within the walls of a nursing home for kids and teenagers with disabilities, and some have mental health issues in addition to their disabilities.  The book is narrated by various characters, including several of the residents of the nursing home, staff members, administrators and more.  It gives a window into the issues and motivations of all parties involved.  The voices of the characters seem very authentic, and come from many different backgrounds.  The perspectives of the narrators include persons with disabilities, immigrants, various economic backgrounds, and much more. 

This title touches on issues such as forced institutionalization, sexual abuse and mental illness.  These issues are navigated in a facility that was state run, but is now privately owned by a for-profit company, and we see how financial decisions impact the care that residents receive.   

This book has moments where it is heartbreaking, and also moments of hope.  It was an excellent choice for our bookclub, and I’m sure that our discussion on May 29th will be inspired.   

The Consumer Health Coalition Bookclub usually meets the 4th Wednesday of the month bi-montly from 10:30-12:30 at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Downtown and Business, but this month we are meeting Wednesday May 29th at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped from 10:30-12:30.  If you would like to attend or have any quesitons, please call us at 1-800-242-0586.  

Good Kings, Bad Kings by Susan Nussbaum  NLS Annotation:  At the Illinois Learning and Life Skills Center, an institution for youths with physical and mental disabilities, outspoken Yessenía, dapper Teddy, and timid Mia form alliances as they endure–then resist–mistreatment. Violence, strong language, and some descriptions of sex. 2013.

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